Inspired by everyone who uses fun rubrics for their reviews, I’ll be posting my impressions and then telling you what kind of bird this game is.
I’ll start with the full-length parser games, then the full-length choice games. We’ll see if I get to the smaller ones.
Without further delay…
This was just a delightful game to start the comp with. It plays smoothly, is action-packed, and has a really endearing protagonist with a quest I felt invested in. The writing was engaging, which is good because it’s a text-heavy, story-heavy game (something I am always a fan of), but there’s plenty of interactivity to balance it out.
You’re a crow, a witch’s familiar and new on the job when disaster strikes your witch. You have to go on a classic stepwise fetch quest to help her, and you meet lots of well-realized NPCs along the way-- including other familiars, and a mortal foe. The puzzles are quite easy and well-clued, making this game a no-brainer for anyone who wants to try out a parser puzzler. Additionally, the verb set is limited; you can do the things you should be able, as a bird, to do, like CAW and PECK. There’s no futzing around with PUT X IN Y or GIVE THING TO PERSON-- DROP is all you need if you’ve got the right thing in the right location. So it’s an extremely friendly parser, which was most welcome.
I also just loved the art; it’s some of the better Adventuron-style pixelated art I’ve seen, and definitely adds to the game. There was sound, but I turned it off like I always do because I don’t like sound in my games (edit: oops, no sound. That’s the other game I started. Pardon.)
I always have one nitpick with Adventuron games, which is that when the game doesn’t recognize an object you type, its response is “You notice nothing special.” So if the author missed implementing a synonym, then you might think the object isn’t important. That’s not the author’s fault, because it’s just impossible to anticipate every synonym a player might try, but rather a weakness of the program. In any case, as with all Adventuron games, if something appears to be important, don’t shorten its name (eg PACK for BACKPACK) when you examine it.
I played this game and went outside to think about it, and there was a crow cawing in my big oak tree! So this game perfectly harmonized with my day. I recommend it for everyone, but I especially recommend it for beginners. My play time was about 45-60 minutes.
What bird is it? Well, duh. It’s obviously a sassy black crow.